Today, it is time to visit the Expo Hall at RootsTech, which is one of my favorite activities, given its size.
DISCLAIMER: This overview is NOT a recommendation list for products. It is an introduction of new-to-me companies and products that I have not seen before. I was offered a free account to try out Collectionaire, but, aside from that, I have not received any material consideration to share product information.
If you are interested in learning more about the companies and what they offer, links are included below.
The exhibitors’ hall is a terrific mix of free services, products for sale and mini-lessons. The big sponsors – FamilySearch and others – have massive floor space near the front.
This year, Trace, as the Coaches Corner was named, was a busy place. Attendees had the opportunity to sign up for time (15 minutes each, I think) to ask genealogists for help with specific questions.
The partition is hiding all the small tables where volunteer genealogists met with their appointments. It was busy every time I passed by and I heard that all time slots had been filled.
RootsTech even had a booth for itself for the first time – introducing the RootsTech Store. It looked like mostly tee shirts and lightweight jackets were available. The store did a brisk business.
Now for some of the vendors.
First, I would like to share news about African-American History. FamilySearch announced that it was donating $2 million to the International African American Museum located in Charleston, South Carolina. If you would like to become a charter member for a museum dedicated to the history of enslaved persons (50% of whom entered the colonies on the site of Gadsden’s Wharf, where the IAAM is to be built), here is how to do it:
Second, I stated in my disclaimer that I wasn’t recommending any of these products, but I have to make one exception. Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes is a touching story of Regina Mason’s quest to connect with her ancestors and, at the same time, a documentary that presents the brutal history and life before freedom for one enslaved man, William Grimes. A trailer can be viewed and DVDs ordered online. I attended the screening at RootsTech and the movie was excellent.
Next, the Sons & Daughters of the United States Middle Passage, organized in 2011, is a lineage society for persons aged 18+ who can prove lineage from an ancestor of African descent who was forced into American slavery before the end of the Civil War.
I am a big fan of lineage societies. They allow us to honor the memory of our ancestors, they help keep alive our history, and they provide a great way to connect with others of similar heritage.
It was interesting to see a company offering an old-time service – book binding. Yes, we live in a digital world, but I truly hope books that we can hold and cherish will always be with us.
Whether you are writing books or have one that needs some loving care, H.V. Chapman & Sons has been around since 1947.
Collectionaire is a brand new company that launched at RootsTech 2019. I received an email before I left so made it a point to go looking for their booth.
DISCLAIMER: As a blogger, I was offered a free account but with no strings attached. As with the other vendors in this post, I am not recommending the product, I am suggesting if you are interested to visit the site for more information.
There are many companies out there now that offer to store our photos online. Collectionaire’s concept is quite different – it is an aggregator or a web portal that can connect to other platforms where photos are stored.
It also isn’t meant to be cloud storage for ALL your photos. It is a site where you can share your favorite photos and memories with invited family and friends in an album format.
If you’d like to sign up for an account ($36/yr), here is a RootsTech discount code of 50% off for a two-year subscription: RTblog2019.
My next vendor visit was with DAMuseful, a company dedicated to helping us complete our digital photo archiving projects.
DAM Useful sells books related to digitizing and organizing all of your images. Three of the books, Organizing Your Photos with Lightroom 8 (with 7 hours of video), Digitizing Your Photos with Your Camera and Lightroom (with 9 hours of video) and Multi-Catalog Workflow with Lightroom 8 (with 3.5 hours of video) are actually complete courses in “how-to” get the job done.
If you have been putting off digitizing your family photos and documents, check out DAMuseful.
Last vendor stop for today is EasyGenie, which sells archival quality paper forms for genealogists.
Although I personally have all of my family history related items digitized, I still hang on to a few forms and having archival quality ones available is appealing to a number of people.
Their website is offering a 15% discount code for all purchases, so if you are still a fan of paper, visit and check them out.
Fabulous FamilySearch again offered free book scanning on site.
This service is a boon to families with a book they’d like to have scanned and it adds to the FamilySearch library collection for the benefit of all.
Tomorrow, I’ll share info from the second set of product information I collected this year.